Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Shorter working hours do not guarantee happier workers

Date:
August 21, 2013
Source:
Springer Science+Business Media
Summary:
A reduction in working hours does not necessarily mean happier employees, as it might merely be adding stress to their general working environment. This is according to a study that looks at the impact of South Korea's recently introduced Five-Day Working Policy.

A reduction in working hours does not necessarily mean happier employees, as it might merely be adding stress to their general working environment. This is according to a study by Robert Rudolf of Korea University, Seoul, that looks at the impact of South Korea's recently introduced Five-Day Working Policy. The paper, published online in Springer's Journal of Happiness Studies, focuses on the overall individual and family happiness of married and co-residing couples living with children, and also assesses the impact of working hours on people's overall job and life satisfaction.

Related Articles


South Korea officially started to introduce its reformative working policy in 2004, in which Saturdays became official non-working days. It also reduced the official working week from 44 to 40 hours. The policy was instigated to enhance living standards, boost the country's weak leisure industry and to reduce the negative effects of excessively long working hours, including low productivity and high rates of industrial injury.

The natural experimental setting of South Korea's Five-Day Working Policy reform provides an unbiased look into how working hours influence the subjective well-being of workers. Rudolf's study is pioneering as it is the first of its kind to assess the impact of such an external reduction of working hours on the subjective well-being of individuals and families. His analysis is based on the detailed and nationally representative longitudinal survey of urban Korean households, the Korean Labor and Income Panel Study, conducted between 1998 and 2008.

Rudolf found that working wives and mothers are generally more pleased with the reformative measures than their male counterparts. This is because women face higher work-family role conflicts within the traditional Korean society, and thus suffer more from long overtime hours. Even though full-time workers, and women in particular, are generally thankful that their work week was cut by four hours on average, it has had no significant impact on their overall job and life satisfaction. This is because much of the positive spin-offs gained from fewer working hours are often offset by rising work intensity demands set by employers, while some firms tend to give less holiday time.

These findings show either that traditional theory is wrong to suggest that longer working hours alone have a negative impact on the personal happiness of employees, or it means that increased work intensity, because of cuts in official working hours, completely offsets any positive effects such a move might have. "If the latter holds true, it would be naοve to believe that work time reductions alone can increase worker well-being," warned Rudolf.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Springer Science+Business Media. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Robert Rudolf. Work Shorter, Be Happier? Longitudinal Evidence from the Korean Five-Day Working Policy. Journal of Happiness Studies, 2013; DOI: 10.1007/s10902-013-9468-1

Cite This Page:

Springer Science+Business Media. "Shorter working hours do not guarantee happier workers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 August 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130821124430.htm>.
Springer Science+Business Media. (2013, August 21). Shorter working hours do not guarantee happier workers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130821124430.htm
Springer Science+Business Media. "Shorter working hours do not guarantee happier workers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130821124430.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) — In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) — A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) — Harvard researchers found children whose mothers were exposed to high pollution levels in the third trimester were twice as likely to develop autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) — Yoga can help your weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and heart just as much as biking and walking does, a new study suggests. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins